Canine Medication for Dog Behavioral Problems

Dog behavioral problems are common and can be typically solved with behavioral training. Chewing, barking and aggression are just a few examples of behavior problems owners complain about. The causes of these range from separation anxiety to health problems. If behavioral training doesn't work, the vet will prescribe some medication that will calm the dog, so that he's more likely to respond to behavior training. The canine drugs for behavior problems will not eliminate the problem, but will reduce the symptoms.

Types of Dog Behavior Problems

Dog behavioral problems can be manifested in different ways. Your dog may start to bark excessively or chew on things. The main types of dog behavior problems include:

  • Excessive barking, that can irritate you and your neighbors
  • Chewing on objects and furniture, which can be very costly
  • Jumping on people
  • Aggression that can lead to biting
  • Ingesting feces or garbage
  • Excessive licking of fur and skin, even to the point of causing granulomas or hair loss
  • Digging in the yard
  • Chasing his own tail

Causes of Canine Behavioral Problems

The cause of the behavioral problems in your pet should be detected. Dogs may develop behavioral issues due to:

  • Separation anxiety
  • Lack of exercise
  • Boredom, especially in young puppies
  • Curiosity (chewing)
  • Stress
  • Lack of proper socialization with other dogs
  • Frustration; if the dog is punished, or is unable to reach an object, he may chew or bark or even destroy furniture
  • Medical problems that cause pain

Medication for Behavioral Problems

The first option to solve a behavioral problem is never medication treatment, but some vets may opt to prescribe a few drugs.

The most common drugs prescribed for behavioral problems include some mild anti anxiety medication such as chlomicalm or diazepam. These drugs will block the chemical receptors in the dog's brain that cause anxiety. These are prescription medications only and will stop the behavior problems as long as they are administered. If the treatment is discontinued, the dog will most likely continue to have an unwanted behavior. However, medication is recommended if the dog hurts himself (i.e., through excessive licking) or the people around him. Meanwhile, behavioral training must be performed and the dog must be taught how to behave in a way that is acceptable.

If the dog has an underlying medical problem, this must be treated.

Administering anti-anxiety medication to dogs may have side effects; you dog’s personality may change and he may be more lethargic. Some dogs can also develop skin rashes.

Discuss other alternatives with your vet to try solving your dog's problem. It may help to make your dog get more exercise, get a pet companion or create a cozy environment with plenty of toys. Natural remedies are also available to calm a dog down. Discuss with a holistic specialist for recommended solutions.